Uber had announced in January that it was bringing its food delivery service to India, its fastest-growing market in the world. And finally, it’s here.
UberEATS has rolled out in Mumbai and will soon be taken to five other Indian cities.
India becomes UberEATS’ fourth Asian market, after it launched in Singapore last May, followed by Tokyo (Japan) and Bangkok (Thailand).
Interestingly, Uber’s local rival Ola had started a similar service, Ola Cafe, in 2015 and shut it down a year later after reportedly failing to expand its network of restaurants.
UberEATS presently delivers to a handful of zip codes, primarily in western Mumbai (see map). Most of the city is yet to be serviced.
But Uber has been smart to tie up with the choicest of cafes and restaurants — 200 of them — in some of the busiest locations, ensuring it taps well into the city’s office and millennial population.
Uber had in fact called upon Indian users to fill in the names of their favorite restaurants before rolling out UberEATS. Consumers will be able to order through the UberEATS app every day of the week, round the clock, as long as the partner restaurants are operational.
Users can order ASAP as well as schedule their meals. The first five orders are being discounted till the end of May.
Currently, UberEATS has enabled payments via Paytm (India’s largest mobile wallet with 200 million users) only. It might open up cash-on-delivery options at a later time. The company had followed a similar trajectory with its ride-hailing service too.
“Mumbai is home to a booming food industry with a vibrant food culture offering both global and local cuisines. The introduction of UberEATS in India, with Mumbai as the first city, is a major step in our global expansion and showcases our commitment to the region,” Bhavik Rathod, Head of UberEATS India, said in a statement.
UberEATS stands to face competition from domestic players like Swiggy, Zomato (one of India’s 10 unicorns) as well as global rival Foodpanda, which has had a tough time catering to the diverse Indian palate.
But for now, EAT on India!